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Pakistan parliament passes law that will see repeat rapists chemically castrated

Rapists convicted of repeat offences face chemical castration in Pakistan after a new law was passed following a spate of attacks on women and children across the country. 

The new legislation will also allow for quicker convictions through the establishment of special courts which will fast track sexual assault cases

Chemical castration involves using medication to reduce testosterone and has been used for paedophiles in Indonesia since 2016 and child rapists in Poland since 2006.  

The move follows a public outcry over the increase in rapes against women and children in Pakistan and the ineffective investigation and prosecution of those sexual violence cases.

Rapists convicted of repeat offences will face chemical castration in Pakistan after the parliament (pictured) passed a new anti-rape law following a spate of attacks on women and children in the country
Rapists convicted of repeat offences will face chemical castration in Pakistan after the parliament (pictured) passed a new anti-rape law following a spate of attacks on women and children in the country

The legislation forms a series of measures including the creation of a national sex offenders register and the protection of victims' identities.   

The bill also states that the government must establish special fast track courts nation wide to hear rape cases and they will have to reach a verdict within four months. 

Anti-rape crisis cells in public hospitals will also be created where victims are able to register their assault and receive a medical examination within hours of the crime.    

Those found guilty of gang rape will be sentenced to death or imprisoned for life, and repeat offenders could be subjected to chemical castration. 

In December last year, President Arif Alvi signed the legislation after Prime Minister Imran Kahn and his cabinet approved it. 

But the vote on Wednesday in the National Assembly permanently passed the measure into law. 

It follows outcry and protests across the country following the gang-rape of a woman outside the city of Lahore in September last year which forced the government to promise action.

Two attackers pulled a French woman out of her car which had broken down at night on a deserted highway near the city, in eastern Punjab province, and gang-raped her as her terrified children watched. Both men were later arrested.

The woman's car had ran out of petrol while she was out with her two children. She called for assistance but was dragged from the vehicle and raped by the two men, Abid Malhi and Shafqat Ali.

Protests erupted after the lead investigator Umar Sheikh suggested the woman was to blame for the attack, saying she should have travelled on a busier road during the day and checked her petrol before setting out

In March, two men were sentenced to death by a Pakistani court for the gang rape.

Prosecutor Hafiz Asghar said the verdict in the case against Malhi and his accomplice Ali was issued inside the prison where they are being held in Lahore.  

Judge Arshad Hussain Bhutta also sentenced the men to 14 years imprisonment, time that must be served before any executions can take place.  Appeals or commutations are likely


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